Facebook has officially announced that its new native desktop Messenger app for Mac and Windows is available globally, and anyone can now download and install it. 

Facebook told us that it has built the new app from the ground up to make it look and feel like a proper native app, rather than just a web-browser based app, with all the features you'd expect from a proper app.

The features are designed to mimic the feel of using Messenger on your smartphone, including dark mode, group video calling and notifications, but optimised for the bigger screen on your computer. It's available in 49 languages at launch. 

It's been launched in good time too. The company has revealed that over March it saw its daily user base grow massively, with a 100 per cent increase on the norm now using its services to keep in touch with family and friends they can't see in person. 

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How to install and setup

Installing the app is really simple, all you need to do to install it is go to the Mac App Store for Mac, or head on over to the Windows store to download it for PC. 

Once you launch the app for the first time it'll ask you to sign in, at which point you can either 'Log in with Facebook' or use your email or phone number. 

If you choose the Facebook option, it'll whisk you off to a browser, where your Facebook login details are likely already saved. If not, you'll need to log into your Facebook account, and then click to confirm that you want to log into the app. 

At this point, you'll be taken back to the desktop app, where you might have to wait a few seconds for your conversations and all the data within them to load up as it downloads it all. 

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What can it do? 

Pretty much anything your mobile app does. You can switch notifications on or off to receive alerts on your desktop when you get new messages. You can also adjust the theme of the app to enable dark mode, and change the default skin tone of your emoji. 

Features-wise, you can, obviously, continue messaging friends and family as normal. Any Facebook friends are automatically contactable through the app, you don't need to input any contact details manually for anyone you know on Facebook already. 

Any chats, including their settings and any files, GIFs and images are downloaded and sync automatically. So, if you have a particular group chat muted because it's just too busy and distracting, that group chat will be muted in the desktop app without you needing to mute it again. 

Of course, you can video chat too. One-on-one and group video calls are available to use on desktop, as are voice calls, just like they would be on any other version of Messenger.